While most of the discussion has been about the Cleveland Browns new jerseys, there has been other news breaking this week regarding the draft. Though the position has been viewed as one that isn’t a primary need, both Todd Gurley from Georgia and Melvin Gordon have or are planning on making a visit to Berea.
They are slated to be the first two running backs off the board, as well as being taken in the first round. In a time where the draft value of running backs has decreased, it really says something about these two special backs
The Browns as they stand are set to enter the season with the “baby backs” from last season in Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West. However, having a stable of young talented backs is never a bad thing, especially for rookie offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.
Though it is not expected, the Browns could really benefit from taking a running back early in the draft. Gurley possesses a talent that can make him an immediate impact player if he is healthy, and according to reports, the Browns are “very interested” in him.
Gurley has explosiveness through the hole, is not afraid of contact and possesses breakaway speed. In college, he had the extra gear to burn members of the opposing secondary. He does not shy away from contact, which is both a strength and weakness. It shows toughness, but also can create injury concerns.
His injury will bring that into question a bit, as well as the more elite speed he will face in the NFL. He played in a pro style offense at Georgia where he showed he was a complete back with his receiving and pass protection ability as well.
Gurley is the top back in the draft, but Gordon should be seen as a close second. Gordon has great footwork and acceleration. Gordon’s senior season put him as the number two in the single season rushing record in FBS history behind Barry Sanders.
Gordon does most of his damage on the outside, and his great footwork allows him to attack the hole and bounce outside in a hurry. He is underrated as a tough back because he is more elusive, but he has the ability to pack a punch when needed.
Gordon is a very talented back, but questions will arise with him potentially being away from the Wisconsin offensive line, which created holes a semi could go through. Gordon also has ball security issues, which is concerning, but as seen with a number of great backs, can be fixed with some coaching.
With both of them visiting, it clearly shows GM Ray Farmer seems to be doing his due diligence on the top running backs in the draft. Neither of these two should be an option at 12 as the Browns have more pressing issues, but if one or both of them are on the board at 19, it could be a real consideration.